Cerebral Palsy Scotland
Cerebral Palsy Scotland – formerly known as Bobath – supports people living with Cerebral Palsy in Scotland. The Royal Caledonian Charities Trust have donated their work for several years now, most recently through a £3,000 grant in 2021.
The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and Scotland’s ensuing “lockdown” in March 2020 led Cerebral Palsy Scotland to close their therapy centre, in line with national guidance. Unable to deliver hands-on therapy sessions and therapy-led groups meant they had to quickly refocus and adapt their services to support the CP community during exceptional circumstances.
The charity introduced CP Connect, online services which offer therapy and support to children and adults living with CP - as well as their families - in a flexible way. The service aims to help address the physical and emotional needs of people with CP at this time, and help build strength, mobility and confidence.
Online groups have provided peer support for people with CP and the charity's annual conference also took place online, welcoming families and health professionals from across the country. Although in-person sessions have now resumed, CP Scotland plan to retain this flexible way of working and virtual sessions during recovery from the pandemic.
“I really liked the virtual appointments. Just a couple of sessions gave us a lot of new ideas and sensible advice about tackling some day-to-day problems."
Riding for the Disabled Glasgow Group provides equine therapy to around 400 children and adults with disabilities from across the Greater Glasgow area. The Royal Caledonian Charities Trust donated £3,000 to support the upkeep of Jake in 2021, a piebald horse acquired with a previous RCCT grant.
Although the impact of the pandemic on the charity's riders has been considerable, RDA Glasgow managed to adapt their services and have been using Quiet Corner sessions to give participants a chance to safely return to their yard. Staff have trained our experienced volunteers in the new hygiene procedures and safety requirements required by the Quiet Corner activities. There wasn't any riding to begin with but even just brushing the ponies, talking to them and reconnecting with pony friends was a wonderful first step back to the charity's routine after COVID. As the RDA motto states: “It’s what you can do that counts”.
Jake’s relaxed, happy and inquisitive attitude means that he is excellent within the Quiet Corner and Stable Management sessions. He is a good height to allow easy access for the participants to groom and pat while his quiet nature will allow the participants to move around him while he stands quietly, giving confidence to everyone who he works with.
The charity said: "We are extremely grateful for the continued support from the Royal Caledonian Charities Trust during such a challenging year. Jake is a valued member of the RDA Glasgow Group family and he is willing to take on any task set, even dunking for apples! Thank you so much for sponsoring our much-loved pony."